With a month to go until the Manchester UCI Track World Cup, Great Britain Cycling Team performance director Stephen Park has urged the home crowd to ‘raise the roof’ as his riders continue to target Tokyo 2020.
Following last November’s world cup round in Glasgow, in which a team made up predominantly of developing riders topped the medal table, the Manchester event – which takes place between November 10 and 12 – will give Britain’s riders the chance to compete internationally on their home track for the first time since 2013.
Park, for whom this will be a first major event on home soil, said:
“This upcoming Tissot UCI Track World Cup is really important for us, primarily so we can see where our riders are against the best in the world. We need to get as much competition practice against high-level opposition as possible before Tokyo 2020, and these events are key on that journey.
“In addition to the experience, these events also allow us to qualify points for next year’s UCI Track World Championships. Competing in front of a home crowd against the best riders in the world will give our riders that extra lift to deliver some great performances and help us qualify those points and get on that journey to the world championships – one step closer to Tokyo.”
The Tissot UCI Track World Cup will see six sessions of competition spread over three days, with a host of Olympic and world champions from various nations - having returned to action post-Rio - expected to be named among the squads.
Park, whose riders will contest the UEC European Track Championships in Berlin just prior to the Manchester world cup, is expecting his team to receive a huge boost from the home crowd as they take on the best the rest of the world has to offer.
“Manchester is our home, and being at our home venue is fantastic for our riders and staff. It really lifts everyone – I’ve been at home events as a spectator before and I’m really looking forward to being in the track centre with the team, with the roar of the crowd behind us.
“Competing at home is something special, so hopefully all the stands will be full, there will be a big crowd cheering on our home team creating that euphoria, that natural amphitheatre that really raises the roof.”